A Report on the Fireworks Accident at Carmel, Western Australia

R. I. Grose and K. L. Kosanke*

ABSTRACT: The investigation into an accident at Carmel, Western Australia in March 2002 found that the magnitude of explosions occurring in licensed and unlicensed storage areas was significantly greater than would have been expected from the UN hazard classification of items stored within them. Use of revised UN default classification tables for the items in storage, instead of the previous classification, goes toward accounting for the violence of the explosions. The official report into the accident makes a number of recommendations that are of direct international relevance, such as a minimum safety distance of 400 m (from residential housing or defined vulnerable facilities) for licensed UN Hazard Division 1.1 magazines regardless of mass of contents (above 50 kg minimum), removal of a concession that allows for the temporary storage of fireworks in unlicensed areas for up to 14 days prior to a display, the adoption of the UN default classification table throughout Western Australia and the importation of incorrectly classified fireworks to be made an offence.

Keywords : Carmel explosion, UN hazard  classification, safety distance, unlicensed storage

Ref: Selected Pyrotechnic Publication of K.L. and B.J Kosanke, Part 7, (2003-2004), pp 103-112

© Journal of Pyrotechnics and CarnDu Ltd

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